2021 Advocacy Agenda

Click here for a PDF of MACDC's Full Advocacy Agenda

MACDC’s policy agenda in 2021 will address both the immediate needs created by the COVID-19 Pandemic and economic crisis, as well as the long-term structural issues in our economy that have been our focus for years. MACDC and our members will focus on the following priorities:

  1. COVID-19 Response: MACDC’s top priority is mitigating the major economic challenges brought on by the pandemic that especially affect low-wage workers, communities of color, immigrants and small businesses. MACDC will strive to ensure an equitable response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic in our state. Based on the everchanging circumstances, our priorities include:
  • Housing Stability: Support policies that prevent evictions and foreclosures during and after the health emergency.
  • Small Business Relief and Recovery: Support programs that help small businesses, especially those owned by people of color, low- and moderate-income people and other vulnerable businesses.
  • Equitable Public Health response: Ensure public health policies related to vaccines, testing and reopening are implemented equitably.
  1. Equitable Small Business Development: MACDC is helping to ease the difficulty small businesses have experienced accessing COVID-19 related state and federal relief dollars. It is clear that many of these disparities did not begin with COVID-19, so MACDC intends to address long-standing structural issues in order to advance an inclusive and equitable small business recovery. MACDC is advocating for:
  • An increase in funding for the Small Business Technical Assistance program from $5.1 million to $10 million per year;
  • Implement the $17.5 million in the FY 21 budget to provide capital grants to CDFIs and CDCs that offer small business loans, and secure at least $7.5 million in FY 22 capital funding as authorized in the Economic Development Bond Bill;
  • Implement new programs created in FY 21 budget and Economic Development Bond bill that will offer matching grants to small businesses, support closing the digital divide for priority businesses and other COVID-19 Relief funding. 
  • Secure at least $3 million in new capital funding to support the Mass Food Trust program;
  • Enact “An Act to Promote Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Economic Justice” filed by Senator Lessor. These recommendations will drive state economic policy to focus more explicitly on diversity, equity and inclusion, strengthen the state’s supplier diversity efforts and help revitalize business nodes in low-income areas. 
  1. HERO Campaign: MACDC is a founding member of the HERO Coalition – Housing and Environmental Revenue Opportunities – which is comprised of housing, climate, faith-based, labor, and social justice groups working together to secure a major new revenue stream to support investments in affordable housing, climate resiliency and mitigation. This legislation would double the deeds excise tax and dedicate 50% (approx. $150 million/yr.) to housing and 50% to climate. Check out the HERO Legislative Briefing to learn more.
  2. Affordable Housing Production and Preservation: MACDC will continue to advocate for increased resources to support affordable housing production and preservation through support of the Transfer Tax Enabling Act, an increase in capital funding, ensuring a smooth introduction to new programs, and advocating to fully fund the MRVP program
  1. Neighborhood Stabilization & Healthy Housing: MACDC is working to accelerate the renovation of vacant and blighted homes in weaker market areas of the state so they offer healthy, safe, energy efficient homes to the community, while also working to expand efforts to renovate older homes in need of investment. This includes advocating for legislation making it easier for municipalities to acquire long vacant properties and seeking new funding for housing rehabilitation. We are also requesting that Governor Baker specifically allocate at least $10 million each for the newly created Neighborhood Stabilization program at DHCD and the Under-utilized property program at Mass Development.  
  1. Tenant protections: MACDC is supporting legislation to protect tenants from evictions and displacement, including support for the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction, and legislation that seals certain eviction records so tenants have opportunities to find new housing.
  1. Racial Homeownership Gap: MACDC will be working to close the racial homeownership gap by advocating for the state to continue building new affordable homeownership units after it fully implements the $60 million Commonwealth Builder program and increase the buying power of low- and moderate-income households.
  1. Financial Prosperity: MACDC is ensuring that all communities in the Bay State have an opportunity to thrive and prosper, especially during these unprecedented times. We are calling for:
  • Expanding the state Earned Income Tax Credit program
  • A major initiative to expand tenant participation in the Federal Family Self Sufficiency program. 
  • Support other income programs for low- and moderate-income people, such as legislation to create a matched savings account program.
  1. Rural Development: MACDC will work with the members of the MA Rural Policy Advisory Commission and rural Regional Planning Agencies encourage lawmakers to fulfill and implement recommendations within the new Rural Policy Plan for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This will help with the unique challenges faced by rural communities across the state. In particular, it will create the Office of Rural Policy.  We will also work to ensure that the $20 million authorized in the economic development bill for rural development is fully funded in FY22.
  1. Land Use and Zoning: MACDC will work with CHAPA and others to advocate for land use and zoning policies that eliminate exclusionary zoning and expand housing opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.
  1. Climate & Clean Energy: MACDC continues to advocate for new resources that will enable existing and future affordable housing to adopt renewable energy technologies, minimize their energy needs and move toward a carbon free future. We will also support program initiatives that help to retrofit existing housing in ways that reduce its carbon footprint and makes it climate resilient while ensuring affordability for low- and moderate-income people.